Developmental and Social Cognitive Neuroscience Seminar (Speakers: Ben Smith and Catherine Darnell)

Hills 1.21
Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Monday 12th May 2014 (13:00-14:00)
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Part of the Developmental and Social Cognitive Neuroscience Seminar Series

Speakers: Ben Smith and Catherine Darnell

Morality and empathy: How moral foundations relate to the experience of cognitive and affective empathy

Ben Smith

Recent research suggests a number of universal moral domains, or "foundations", on which varying ethical and moral systems are built. Empathy is regularly linked to morality concerned with caring for others, but differentiation between cognitive and affective empathy, and whether moral concerns about fairness are also linked to empathy is unclear. 

With a lack of qualitative research on morality, we conducted a series of interviews to gather rich data on the concept of moral foundations and their relationship to empathy. I will outline the results of our thematic analysis thus far.

Children's Guessing under Epistemic and Physical Uncertainty: An Eye-Tracking Study

Catherine Darnell

"Young children frequently demonstrate difficulties when handling uncertainty. Recent research however demonstrates that children’s performance is affected by whether the uncertainty being presented is physical (uncertainty based on an outcome which has yet to occur) or epistemic (uncertainty based on an outcome which has already occurred but which we are ignorant to). 

Under physical uncertainty children correctly acknowledge the multiple possibilities associated with an uncertain event, yet under epistemic uncertainty, children behave as if they ‘know’ the outcome (Robinson, Rowley, Beck, Carroll & Apperly, 2006). In the current experiment we investigated children’s eye-movements during a guessing game to see if children’s looking patterns differed between these two types of uncertainty. Do children really focus on one outcome under epistemic uncertainty but many under physical uncertainty?"